DKA & IBA put knowledge into action
Apr 13, 2018
Indigenous Business Australia visit Alice Springs to discover the opportunities for Central Australian businesses
Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) staff and nominee directors travelled to Central Australia for two days of knowledge experiences, panel discussions and collaborative workshops facilitated by DKA. They had the opportunity to deepen their appreciation of Indigenous culture and gain an insight into the social and economic landscape of Central Australia.
Our guests had the rare and valuable opportunity to experience a tour of the town’s sacred sites led by Arrernte Elders Peter ‘Coco’ Wallace and Benedict Stevens, who shared local dreaming stories and their experiences of life on Arrernte country.
While it’s possible to purchase authentic made clapsticks, Arrernte man and Clapstick Talking Tours owner-operator Ken Lechleitner believes that in crafting the clapsticks yourself, you gain a deeper appreciation for the knowledge and physical efforts that produce the objects. In this workshop, participants began with long pieces of mulga wood, then gradually stripped, whittled, sanded and treated the wood until they had crafted two individualised clapsticks. While they worked, the participants talked with Ken about culture and country, which Ken says is a traditional way of learning in Arrernte culture – working while sitting at the feet of Elders and listening to their stories and wisdom. The guests’ handmade clapsticks gave them a lasting reminder of the knowledge gained in Alice Springs.
Central Australia is an unusual business environment to operate within. After providing a tasty lunch made from local, seasonal produce and bushfoods, Kungkas Can Cook owner Rayleen Brown shared the story of her business. In addition to the lessons that all business owners must learn, as an Indigenous woman Rayleen faced unique challenges, but also seized unusual opportunities. Rayleen has a strong relationship with women from the communities surrounding Alice Springs, who assist her in harvesting bushfoods. Rayleen is committed to providing support and opportunities to these women through her business.
Back at the Desert Knowledge Precinct, DKA hosted a panel of local leaders who shared first hand experiences of the economic and social opportunities and challenges in Central Australia. Panel members included Cliff Weeks (Department of the Chief Minister), Jennes (Jay) Walker (Industry Capability Network), Casey Greentree (Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet), Donna Ah Chee (Central Australian Aboriginal Congress) and Michael Liddle (DKA). The learnings provided an opportunity for IBA to consider innovative and effective solutions that will support growth in our region.
A hand-crafted clapstick
Whittling and sanding mulga wood into clapsticks
Making clapsticks is hard work
A bush tucker spread at Kungkas Can Cook
Rayleen Brown sharing the story of her business with DKA CEO Lauren Ganley and executives from IBA
DKA Program Manager Michael Liddle sharing knowledge through storytelling
Cultivating curiosity is the best way to keep learning